Joint Statement on Formation of Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership and Hiring of State Drug Director Kirk Lane

From the Association of Arkansas Counties and Arkansas Municipal League

We are excited to announce the formation of the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership, a united venture between counties, cities, and towns in Arkansas. It is a partnership between the Arkansas Municipal League and Association of Arkansas Counties that represents an unprecedented, united front between the representatives of local government. Especially exciting is the fact that Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane has decided to direct this partnership as we move forward. The link below is the state’s press release about Director Lane’s resignation from the state to take this position, and as you can see from the quotes the partnership has hired an exceptionally skilled and passionate leader to take the helm of our project.

We expect to receive settlement funds this year, and when they come in, we must have a plan. Every dollar needs a name and a wise and sound commitment to fight opioid addiction in Arkansas. Hiring Kirk Lane now is critically important to building this plan and he has a proven track record and experience that will prove invaluable in managing what will likely be a multi-year stream of settlement funds. This is not a situation of Kirk Lane leaving his passion, it is simply a re-engagement from a different perspective and our local governments in Arkansas are going to be thrilled with his leadership and vision.

Since 2018, Arkansas counties and cities have been united in litigation and purpose, seeking compensation from opioid companies to fund solutions to the Arkansas opioid epidemic. The coalition has now turned its attention to the most important goal — to effectively evaluate and implement programs and strategies to abate the epidemic.

The formation of the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership and hiring of Kirk Lane to lead the partnership represents a turning point in the counties’ and cities’ fight against the Arkansas opioid epidemic. Lawyers who represent the counties and cities in the litigation will continue to pursue the opioid industry and additional funds for abatement, but what matters most now is that thanks to the vision and leadership of Arkansas’­ mayors and county judges, AAC Executive Director Chris Villines, Arkansas Municipal League Executive Director Mark Hayes, Kirk Lane, and others, the coalition of Arkansas counties and cities will be ready to bring the cavalry to help the communities, families, and addicts of Arkansas.

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